Cohen's work has a strong interest in the investigations behind its conspiracies; The Stuff is no different. Yet, in The Stuff this investigation and corny action/campy horror scenes are in place of the story, and unlike, God Told Me To or It's Alive, it doesn't have an initial terrifying set piece at first to keep you watching. While 'MO' is a fun character, he isn't particularity a complex one.
The Stuff is total crap, but its ridiculously (that's the key word here) enjoyable and hilariously awful. From Michael Moriarty's Joe Buck lead character to Paul Sorvino's Jack D. Ripper with extra chromosomes, I kept waiting for a hint of an indication that I was being screwed with and Larry Cohen never lets the audience off the hook. Utterly stupid and utterly fun.
Over the last two weeks I've watched the entire Kingdom mini-series; Umberto D.; America, America; Rashomon; and three Tarkovsky films: I needed to watch The Stuff more than the people in the movie wanted to eat the stuff. Sure it has a message, but the fun, totally '80s, film was a perfectly great stormy night escape.
Horror-Satire from the 1980s about killer food that feels oddly contemporary--(it would make an interesting double bill with Robert Kenner's FOOD, INC for instance)--in that sense, the third act takedown of the company making the stuff, while sort of contrived, is a lot of fun and genuinely cathartic. Special mention goes to Danny Aiello's character's dog, who makes the most of limited screentime.